We Need A Buddy-Cop TV Series Based On This Photo

There’s always a cool one & a wacky one, after all.


When An Army Of Cats Doesn’t Kill Enough: “Eye of The Cat” (1969)

You’d think a movie about a house full of cats who’d kill to protect their crazy sick old lady owner from a murder-inheritance scam would be a great movie, but alas… this one fell way short.

I was surprised I’d never heard of this one before last week, and it went right to the top of my considerably long to-watch list. (I know how most men brag about the length of their to-watch list, but mine really is huge.)

Eleanor Parker was only in her late 40s when this got made, yet she plays the crazy old dying-of-emphasema aunt living in a big ol’ San Francisco mansion filled with hundreds of cats. (I guess that’s where you end up after being so thoughtlessly used by Stephen Boyd in The Oscar). Michael Sarrazin plays the free wheelin’ free lovin’ wayward nephew recruited by Parker’s hairstylist (Gayle Hunnicut, pictured above) to return home, get the will changed in his favor away from the cats, and then to knock off the Aunt for the money, to be split with said hairstylist.

But he has a DEATHLY AND PARALYZING FEAR OF CATS dating back to childhood, so this will…

Oh Gawd…. this movie took what was a decent basic concept and blew its potential in so many ways, I don’t know where to begin.

Continue reading “When An Army Of Cats Doesn’t Kill Enough: “Eye of The Cat” (1969)”

Some Fun Science: How Dolphins Get High

Pufferfish will spew out a toxin when threatened that’ll paralyze or kill their enemies.

But dolphins only get stoned off it. And being dolphins, amazingly intelligent animals, they’ve learned to seek out & pass pufferfish amongst themselves, all taking hits off the bong, according to this Smithsonian article.

Money quote: “The dolphins’ expert, deliberate handling of the terrorized puffer fish, Pilley told the Daily News, implies that this is not their first time at the hallucinogenic rodeo.”

Fa loves pa, but loves getting blasted a bit more, I guess.

Me? I’ll be finishing a bottle of wine I started the other day with my dinner tonight. Flipper was not invited.

Friday Art: The Versailles Road at Louveciennes (Snow) by Pissarro

It’s the middle of February and I’m in the mood for a chilly scene of winter, I guess. This one is similar to the way Pissarro paints street scenes – the line of trees going off into the distance at an angle, the light effects off the different surfaces and buildings, and a sense of movement in the figures.

I love that sky. The whirl of brushstrokes suggesting gray clouds moving around with the dark patches looking to me like the remnants of smoke from chimneys outside of the frame… a little bit of wind, maybe? More snow on the way despite the shadows along the street suggesting the sun breaking through it all? I bet that group of kids on their way to pick up what looks like their sled over on the sidewalk must be hoping for more snow. Back when I was their age (probably about the time this was painted) more snow meant more sledding and school canceled.


And now that I’m a mature adult & art lover, I’ll just sit here inside my warm abode on this gray rainy SoCal February day, have a nice cup of tea and think about winters’ past via Pissarro’s magic.

That Was Pop: Relistening to XTC Part 3

For our next installment of the journey through the XTC catalogue, I thought I’d skip to a low point in their chronology.

Well, sales-wise, anyway. Right when the timing was perfect and all the ducks were lined up in a row for the band to break big…. the beginning of what would have been an American concert tour to promote their most popular & best record to date in English Settlement…. Andy Partridge went cold turkey on the valium he’d been taking since childhood thanks to his wife flushing it all down the toilet, and this led to a total breakdown. Partridge fell to pieces, developed enormous stage fright. The tour was canceled, and Partridge resolved never to tour again. After a time but actually during his slow recovery (and you can hear it evolve on the album I’m about to discuss) the band retreated into the studio to begin their evolution towards production wizardry. But their first effort, 1983’s Mummer, would show the growing pains in taking this approach.

Those early 80s music years were frustrating ones for listeners/fans of the energetic burst of punk and new wave that splashed across everywhere in the late 1970s. 1983 marked a year when it seemed that EVERY sharp ‘n’ angry young rockernewwavepunk act with a debut in 1977 decided to change their sound, and ALWAYS in a more mellow direction. Paul Weller went from fronting The Jam to The Style Council. Elvis Costello released the aptly titled Punch The Clock, a record that…. well, let’s just be honest, it doesn’t hold a candle to This Year’s Model, now does it? Or how about Graham Parker, who released his mellow and happily married The Real Macaw, a decent record, but certainly no Squeezing Out Sparks or Howlin’ Wind. Or perhaps you prefer Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds and Rockpile? Well, in 1983 they both released solo albums post-Rockpile breakup. Edmunds Information, a decent record, although his backup band is basically ELO and the synth/tech sound was not exactly what we’d hear before. Lowe released what’s arguably his weakest solo album, The Abominable Showman, a record that never really seems to get going and moves in way too many directions (or tries to) stylistically. Talking Heads put out Speaking In Tongues, probably the peak of their “funk” sound period and probably the best 1983 album I’ve mentioned on this look-at-all-of-us-get-mellow list.

Continue reading “That Was Pop: Relistening to XTC Part 3”

Didn’t We Have A Revolution Over This?

I just did my taxes. Howzabout you?

I remember when I was a kid and how there’d be a day every year when my dad would come home amazingly pissed off and depressed, and my mom would simply say “You father’s home from the accountant, so you’d better behave.”

Well, I can certainly relate to that every year, but this year is EXTRA special, after being lied to basically all year long about a supposed wonderful tax cut that the majority of us were supposedly getting.

Maybe a majority are, I dunno. But not me. And I’m not exactly one of the 1% billionaire class. I didn’t even have sex with Jeff Bezos (I don’t have Amazon Prime, I’m assuming that’s one of the perks.)

I did a little better this year than last year income-wise, yes. But if you really want to compare apples to apples, put aside the entirety of the shell/con game the tax system plays with you via withholding, refunds, allowed deductions, exemptions, whether you live in a high tax state or not (like I do, BAH) and the like and simply compare how much tax you owe as a percentage of your total income.

The rates on taxable income are down, yes. But now the amount of your gross income that’s taxable is way up. That’s the bait and switch.

My actual tax rate went up by a measly half a percent. Not a huge deal, really, but don’t tell me how I’m getting a tax cut while you’re taking more money from me.

At least I’m being honest when I’d take a drink in celebration if Circe suddenly appeared and turned every one of the SOBs in Washington DC into pigs. It’d be a fitting metaphor, and pigs are cute in their own way. Bacon & baby backs are also damn tasty. And maybe Kirk Douglas would get to scream at her again.

I’d’ve written something much more graphic, violent and psychotic if I didn’t think the FBI would notice and start investigating me.

Although if the pig thing drew FBI or whoever to this blog, please click on the “Buy My Books” tab up above and go on a spree. Think of all the additional taxes you’ll collect, you corrupt thieving bastards.

Sorry Circe, no pork for dinner tonight, but I’ll drown my sorrows in treyf with a big plate of pasta calamari.

Another day, another reason to hate everybody.

What if she’d turned Odysseus’ men into squids? And then they grew giant and attacked other sailors Jules Verne style? Kirk coulda fought them as well, all you have to do it meld those two movies together. And then, perhaps, some of the squid face an unfair court martial… let’s combine EVERY KIRK DOUGLAS MOVIE INTO ONE….

Better not. The taxes on it would be unbearable.

Friday Art: Sommarnöje by Anders Zorn (1886)

Good God, I thought Winslow Homer was a genius with watercolor, and then I discovered this guy. Look at that water…. the gentle waves, the subtle reflection of light, the dock, the boat… the shadows…. all of it, really.

Look at the fine detail on the wood of the rowboat, the dock. The near photographic realism of the two human figures and their clothes. (The woman is Zorn’s wife.)

And then remind yourself it’s a watercolor. How pointy this guy’s brushes must have been.

Continue reading “Friday Art: Sommarnöje by Anders Zorn (1886)”

Possibly The Greatest Cast Ever Assembled

Let’s park ourselves on the sofa for tonight’s entertainment, shall we?

Sweet! Another cop-gone-bad early ’50s crimefest, with tough talkin’ fedora wearin’ men and dangerous dames.

Our cop gone bad finds a dark alley, shoots a numbers runner in the back and lifts the twenty five grand he carried. And then he starts the big cover up, claiming the guy ran on him and a shot went bad.

You can tell the bad cop by the Bill Belichick scowl and ciggie… none other than Edmond O’Brien, stalwart character actor found across genres. His former protegé, now Det, Sgt, is John Agar, who’d go on to appear in tons of westerns and some notably awful scifi like Attack of the Puppet People.

So why did O’Brien murder for money? Well, to afford his 1950s dreams of domestic suburban bliss, you dummy! Can’t do that on a cop’s salary, ya chucklehead. Watch him take his good-girl squeeze to the model house in the new neighborhood.

A swell modern living room.

Yes, a fully furnished model! None of this real estate-staging BS for these two. A place where you can dream that every dinner party has the candelabra for that Liberace feel.

The innocent girlfriend is Marla English in her first credited role. She’d do a few more minor films in the ’50s before getting married for real and leaving the biz behind. I’d like to think she got an actual living room like that.

But outside…. our crooked cop is hiding the dough.

And it goes from there.

Continue reading “Possibly The Greatest Cast Ever Assembled”

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